Anna Hoychuk
Red Jacket Mine will be performing March 10 at El Corazon.

A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do


Tell Me About That Song: Lincoln Barr, Vocalist of Soulful-Power-Pop Band Red Jacket Mine

Anna Hoychuk
Red Jacket Mine will be performing March 10 at El Corazon.

A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Lincoln Barr, vocalist and guitarist of Seattle soulful-power-pop band Red Jacket Mine, delves into surgical procedures, sexual gratification and suicide pacts.

Song: "Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)"

Album: Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)

Release Date: Feb. 21, 2012 on Fin Records

When it was written: December of 2010

Where it was written: Sitting on my couch at home, heavily sedated by pain medication.

Favorite line in the song: "If it seems to carry on would be absurd / I'll free you from your cares, if you only say the word."

Which part was the hardest to come up with: This song has a lot of chord changes, and it was tricky getting some of them just right. ("Should that be an F major, or an F# minor? They both have an A up top...") Fortunately, I had plenty of time on my hands.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: Nothing. I'm sure someone else might find something to change, but this tune came together just like I had hoped - in composition, performance, and production, thanks in no small part to the esteemed Mr. Johnny Sangster.

Odd fact about song: In late 2010, I had to have a fairly serious surgical procedure, which provided the downtime necessary to write this song (and several other keepers.) I was unable to sing for nearly a month, which made the songwriting process interesting. I had to sing in my head, and sketch out melodies on the guitar, instead of singing along. It was a good three weeks before I ever heard this song out loud, and much longer before I could sing it at full strength.

What was your inspiration for writing the song: I'd always wanted to write this type of song - triumphant, groovy, heavily influenced by Gamble & Huff Philly soul. And the "come on and get with me" lyrical theme is an old standby. But I knew I had to turn it on its head somehow. What if the narrator's ultimate goal wasn't sexual or romantic gratification, but something darker?

When was your favorite time performing it live: This past weekend on KEXP! It was so much fun looking around the room, seeing my buddies, and knowing that our friends and family - some of whom have never had the chance to see us live - were listening in around the world.

What is the meaning behind the song: This song can be interpreted in a variety of ways, all of which I'd encourage, but the basic lyrical conceit is a lover pleading with his partner to join him in a suicide pact. This is seen as a positive, proactive step ("take some ownership of your own fate") - the world is going to hell, after all, so honey, we might as well. (Sung with tongue firmly in cheek, of course.)

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